What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by

Searching...

painting / 繪畫

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1919,0101,0.123

  • Description

    Painting of Vajrapāṇi (thunderbolt bearer) standing on two lotuses, holding a vajra. Striking musculature delineated in cherry-pink. Ink and colours on silk.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 851-900 (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 64 centimetres
    • Width: 18.5 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    This striking banner has four bottom streamers of dark blue silk and side streamers of bluish green and plain green, but there is no weighting board. The bottom streamers and one side streamer are stamped with motifs of flowers and insects, as is the side streamer of Pl. 62; the plain green streamer may be a replacement.
    Even more than in Pl. 58, the network of colour modelling, here executed in “acrid pink”, makes an extraordinary impression. It covers all the exposed areas of flesh, even the face and hands, not only to suggest the musculature of the torso but also to reinforce the demonic appearance of the face. Stein’s description in Serindia comments on the extreme nature of this “meaningless latticework of a coarse pink”. In fact it should probably be seen as having its own rationale, used for demons (see, for example, the crouching figures beneath the feet of the Lokapālas, as in Pl.63, as opposed to the quietly schematic method of colour shading and highlighting earlier used for the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, for example in Pl.7). Naturally, the same convention can be easily found in the wall paintings, the best example being of royal and other mourners in the famous parinirvāna scene of Cave 159 (late eighth or early ninth century); another in the same cave, using colour only without ink outlines, is seen in an attendant of Mañjusrī (Dunhuang bihua, Pl.174) A dated example is seen in the painting of Tejaprabha Buddha and the Five Planets (A.D. 897,Pl.27), and may support a late ninth or even early tenth century date for the present painting.此五彩繽紛的幡,底部是藏藍色絹做的幡腳,鎮板已遺失,側面一邊是青綠、另一邊是綠色的幡尾。底部幡腳和側面的幡尾映出花和蟲子花紋,這和圖62幡兩側的幡尾一樣。無花樣的綠色幡尾可能是後補的。
    此像顯示肉感的網狀描繪使用的濃豔的粉色,遠比下一圖的金剛力士像給人的印象強烈。包括臉部和手,網狀覆蓋了身體所有暴露的部分,不僅使人聯想到肌肉組織,也增強了鬼神的表情。斯坦因在《西域》中也對這肉感的極端的表現做了評價,“無意義的劣等粉色格子文樣”。實際上,這些是爲鬼神或者邪鬼想出的方法(參照圖63廣目天腳下蹲的地鬼例子,與早期作品中佛和菩薩的溫和圖式的明暗和高光相對應,參照圖7)。當然,在壁畫中也多有運用同一手法的作品,最好的例子,可以舉出第159窟(8世紀末~9世紀初)有名的涅槃圖所描繪的國王們及其他哀悼者們,以及同窟的不用墨綫、直接上彩的文殊脅侍(參照《敦煌壁畫》圖版174)。另外,有紀年的作品,可以舉出《熾盛光佛和五星圖》(897年,圖27),它可作爲把本圖繪制年代看作是9世紀後半葉乃至10世紀前半葉的依據。

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Whitfield & Farrer 1990 cat.no.41 bibliographic details
    • Fraser 1996a fig.149 bibliographic details
    • Stein 1921a p.1032 bibliographic details
    • Fraser 2000 p.203 and fig.23 bibliographic details
    • Whitfield 1982 pl.57 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2005 11 Apr-10 Jul, Seoul Arts Centre, Treasures of the World's Cultures

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1919

  • Acquisition notes

    For full acquisition history, see 1919,0101,0.1.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1919,0101,0.123

  • Additional IDs

    • Ch.xxvi.a.005 (Stein no.)
Front
Painting of Vajrapani (thunderbolt bearer) standing on two lotuses, holding a vajra. Striking musculature in cherry-pink. Ink and colours on silk.

Front Painting of Vajrapani (thunderbolt bearer) standing on two lotuses, holding a vajra. Striking musculature in cherry-pink. Ink and colours on silk.

Image description

Recommend


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: RFC739

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...